Politics Freshman Dem Katie Hill denies improper relationship with aide
House ethics committee investigating allegations against California Rep. Katie Hill
Rep. Katie Hill (D-Santa Clarita) is under investigation by the House Committee on Ethics after allegations that she engaged in an affair with a congressional aide were made public last week. In a statement, Committee Chairman Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) and ranking member Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Tex.) said the committee was aware that Hill "may have engaged in a sexual relationship with an individual on her congressional staff," an allegation HillIn a statement, Committee Chairman Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) and ranking member Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Tex.) said the committee was aware that Hill "may have engaged in a sexual relationship with an individual on her congressional staff," an allegation Hill has refuted.
Freshman Democratic Rep. Katie Hill (Calif.) is denying allegations that she had an improper relationship with a congressional staffer, and blamed the controversy on an "abusive husband" that she is in the midst of divorcing.
The 32-year-old Hill has reached out to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) to deny the allegations, according to multiple Democratic sources.
"The fact is I am going through a divorce from an abusive husband who seems determined to try to humiliate me," Hill said in a statement to POLITICO.
Rep. Katie Hill admits to having a relationship with a staffer after the announcement of an ethics probe
California Rep. Katie Hill confirmed that she had an inappropriate relationship with a campaign staffer following the announcement of a probe from the House Committee on Ethics. On Tuesday, Hill said she did not have a relationship with legislative director Graham Kelly, but she walked back that account the next day, saying in a letter to constituents that she got involved with Kelly "during the final tumultuous years of my abusive marriage," the Los Angeles Times reported.
"I am disgusted that my opponents would seek to exploit such a private matter for political gain. This coordinated effort to try to destroy me and people close to me is despicable and will not succeed,” she said. “I, like many women who have faced attacks like this before, am stronger than those who want me to be afraid."
The allegations against Hill were first raised in the conservative publication RedState.org. That publication reported that Hill had an affair with her legislative director, Graham Kelly. The relationship was purportedly uncovered by Hill's husband, Kenny Heslep. The couple is in the midst of an acrimonious divorce, and there is no proof that an improper relationship with Kelly — who also worked on Hill's campaign — occurred.
Guam delegate faces House Ethics Committee investigation over alleged sexual relationship with staffer
The House Ethics Committee opened an investigation into a freshman member from the U.S. territory of Guam-- the second probe of a Democratic congressman in two days-- alleging he had a sexual relationship with a staff member and misused campaign finance contributions. © Provided by Fox News Network LLC"The committee is aware of public allegations that Delegate Michael F. Q. San Nicolas may have engaged in a sexual relationship with an individual on his congressional staff, converted campaign funds to personal use and/or accepted improper or excessive campaign contributions," said a panel statement on Thursday.
Neither Kelly nor Heslep responded to requests for comment.
RedState also published a nude photo of Hill and alleged that she and Heslep were both romantically involved in a consensual relationship with a female campaign staffer in her 20s. Hill identifies as bisexual.
In her statement, Hill vehemently denied any improper relationship with Kelly. Hill said U.S. Capitol Police are now investigating where the nude photo came from and how it was published.
"Intimate photos of me and another individual were published by Republican operatives on the internet without my consent," Hill said in her statement. "I have notified Capitol Hill police who are investigating the situation and potential legal violations of those who posted and distributed the photos, and therefore will have no further comment on the digital materials."
Hill said the charge that she was romantically involved with Kelly was untrue: "Allegations that I have been involved in a relationship with Mr. Kelly are absolutely false. I am saddened that the deeply personal matter of my divorce has been brought into public view and the vindictive claims of my ex have now involved the lives and reputations of unrelated parties."
Rep. Katie Hill’s lawyers send cease-and-desist letter to DailyMail.com over nude photos
The website is the second to publish alleged lewd photos of the Democratic congresswoman.The attorneys, from the Washington-based law firm Perkins Coie, referred to the images as “spurious nude photos purported to be of” Hill and said she is “prepared to take all necessary means to protect her rights and to protect herself from an unprecedented, unwarranted and extraordinarily offensive invasion of personal privacy.” A copy of the lawyers’ letter was obtained by The Washington Post.
Hill, who is freshman representative in Democratic leadership and vice chair of the Oversight Committee, said she intends to remain in Congress.
"This smear campaign will not get in the way of the work I am doing every day to move our district and our country forward. I am truly grateful for the outpouring of support I have received from colleagues and constituents alike, and I know we will get through this together.
Under House rules, members "may not engage in a sexual relationship with any employee of the House who works under the supervision of the Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner, or who is an employee of a committee on which the Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner serves."
Sources close to Hill and Democratic leadership aides dismiss the Oct. 18 report in RedState as coming from GOP operatives in California seeking to hurt the freshman lawmaker politically.
Hill trounced Rep. Steve Knight (R-Calif.) by 9 points in 2018. Her district in the northern exurbs of Los Angeles was once reliably Republican—it includes the late President Ronald Reagan's library—but has trended away from the party in recent years. Hillary Clinton won it by 7 points in 2016.
Knight has signaled he's not interested in a rematch, but Hill has several GOP challengers. The best funded contender is Mike Garcia, a former Naval fighter pilot who now works as an executive at Raytheon. Hill will likely have a massive cash advantage over any opponent. She had $1.5 million in the bank at the end of September. Garcia had less than $350,000.
Ally Mutnick contributed reporting to this story.
Rep. Katie Hill decries 'dirtiest gutter politics I've seen' in fiery farewell speech .
"I'm leaving because of a misogynistic culture that gleefully consumed my naked pictures," Hill told her colleagues on the House floor.Hill announced her resignation Sunday amid an ethics investigation over an allegedly inappropriate relationship with a staffer and after nude pictures of her were published online."I wasn't ready for my time here to come to an end so soon," the freshman lawmaker said Thursday.
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